Nsugbe QC, SAN
was called to the bar in
1985 (Gray’s Inn) and was appointed a Crown Court Reader in 1999 – the youngest
practitioner ever appointed to the part-time judiciary. He became
a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1986 and
is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Oba Nsugbe is currently the Head of Chambers at Pump Court Chambers, London.
He took
silk in 2002 as the first Nigerian practicing abroad to be awarded the coveted
rank of silk at the age of 39, and since 2004 has
acted as Grade A Advocacy Trainer at Gray’s Inn, where he became
a Bencher in 2005. The following year, in 2006, he was appointed Joint Head of
Chambers, elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and became the
Legal Advisor to the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK, a post he still
holds to date. He also acts as a Legal Assessor for the General
Medical Council and is the immediate former Chair of the British Nigeria Law
Forum (BNLF).

Nsugbe QC, SAN is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s and Nigeria’s leading
barristers. He has a broad international practice with a particular interest in
Africa. He provides high-level advice and representation for individuals,
corporate clients and other organisations, (including NGOs), in matters ranging
from business and general crime to corrupt practices, commercial litigation,
contractual disputes and health and safety.
was described in a leading law commentary as “ a rising star of the Bar of
England and Wales”. He commands considerable respect from both clients and
peers. Numerous entries in Chambers and Partners over the years have described
him as “a first-class advocate” as well as “a true gentleman who deserves his
fabulous reputation”, adding that he has a “fine forensic mind” and is admired
for his “technical excellence”. Contributors to the directory have also
remarked that he is “fabulously personable, easy-going, and adored by judges
and juries”, “works extremely well in a team” and “impresses interviewees with
his calm and genial manner”.
Oba’s practice in the
UK revolves mainly around arbitration, commercial litigation and business
crime. He works abroad regularly and has worked in jurisdictions
as disparate as Germany, Nigeria, Tanzania and the Cayman Islands. In
1997, Oba spent four months in Malawi, working for the British and
Malawian governments on a joint legal project. His work
included advising the Director of Public Prosecution on a backlog of over
1,000 homicide cases, as well as conducting briefings and seminars on many
aspects of the Criminal Justice system in Malawi. He has also been
involved in the training of judges and the reform of civil procedure law in
In November 2008 he
received the Lifetime Achievement Award to the
profession from the Black Solicitors’ Network and the year before
that, the Minority Lawyers’ Conference Award for his work for, and with, BME
practitioners. In 2009, he was appointed an Honorary Professor
of Law by City University. In addition to becoming a SAN in Nigeria, his
overseas appointments have included being a member of the Body of Benchers in
Nigeria, Chair of the G50 business group (“investing in Nigeria”) and
a Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative. Oba is married with

Nigerian Law
is qualified in both the UK and Nigeria and is highly experienced in the courts
of both countries. He advises the Nigerian Federal Government, several State
Governments and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as well as having
appeared as an expert witness in several UK cases involving Nigerian law,
including the reported case of Howard v. Shirlstar in which he testified about
the Nigerian aviation laws and regulations contravened by Howard, a British
pilot, who was contracted to recover a plane owned by Shirlstar Container Ltd,
which he flew to Ivory Coast, evading MIG fighter jets in the process. In
addition, he routinely works in other overseas jurisdictions such as Germany,
the Cayman Islands, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He is
frequently involved in multi-jurisdictional cases.
Regulatory and Disciplinary
is able to provide expert regulatory guidance to businesses needing to comply
with the legal framework in Nigeria. Furthermore, through a close network of
established and highly specialist partner firms, he is able to cover other
African jurisdictions as well. He is regularly called upon to advise on the drafting
of contracts and commercial agreements, as well handling contentious
contractual issues and other litigation, for some of the world’s largest
companies in the oil and gas, leisure, banking, financial and publishing
sectors. In the Cayman Islands his cases typically involve offshore trusts or
insolvency, often with criminal recovery aspects. In addition, he has
considerable alternative dispute resolution experience as both an Arbitrator
and Counsel instructed in international arbitrations.
also sits as a legal assessor at fitness to practice tribunals from the Nursing
& Midwifery Council and the General Medical Council.
addition he has both prosecuted and defended a number of high profile criminal
cases in the UK.
Notable Cases:
  • R v P Ltd and Another [Times Law
    Report 13th August 2007] Leading case on mens rea of officer of a body
    corporate under s.37 HSWA 1974
  • R v Davies (David Janway) [2002]
    EWCA 2949 at 586 Leading case on reverse burden in health and safety cases
    and impact of Human Rights Act
  • R v Howe & Son (Engineering)
    Ltd [1999] 2 ALL ER 249 Leading case on sentencing in health and safety
  • R v Hampshire [1995] 2 ALL ER 1019
    Competency of child’s evidence in sexual cases
  • R v. Rachel [CA] 1993 Cr App R.
    (S) 265 Sentencing in Manslaughter cases
  • Howard v Shirlstar Container
    Transport Ltd [1990] 1 WLR 1992 Contract involving illegal performance –
  • Krumpa & Anor v. DPP [1989]
    Crim LR 295 S39 Public Order Act 1986